back to article Islamic ceramics wow mathematicians

A US scientist has discovered that medieval Islamic ceramic designs demonstrate their makers' understanding of "quasicrystalline geometry" - something modern mathematicians only "figured out" in the last 20 or 30 years. That's according to Harvard's Peter Lu, who normally designs physics experiments for the International Space …

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Where did we get our number system from in the first place?

This shouldn't come as a big surprise. In the XIth and XIIth century those folks were already experts at abstract symbol manipulation whilst we in the west were still drowning "cat ladies" in the village pond and using the burn of a red hot iron to establish innocence or guilt in the courtroom.

One might wonder what other scientific and mathematical discoveries might be made from investigating Arab and Persian art. architecture and literature from that period...

"Allah is in the details"

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Not as startling as portrayed ?

Dr Abbas of the Dept. of Mathematics , University of Wales, Bangor was working in this area in the eighties. His research group developed software based on crystallographic groups to develop Islamic tiling patterns.

How do I know ? I working for the department in a minor academic capacity at the time and helped out his research group with with the computer graphics programming (which was a black art at the time).

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Startling, Indeed not!

This was well covered by Bronowski in "The Ascent of Man" in 1973. Pages 166 - 176 in the book and explored in the "Music of the Spheres" episode of the BBC TV series at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Altair Design pads

I'm old enough to remember these from the 70s...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1899618252/ilike00-21

Amazing how good American scientists are at churning out press-releases

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Anonymous Coward

not new...

1 arabic numerals were diseminated by the arabs but invented by the indians.

2 ensor holiday developed infinite geometric patterns based on islamic designs in the 1960s. they were marketed as altair designs.

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Anonymous Coward

Amazing

Wow, an American scientist finds out something that has been around for ages - claims it as a breakthru. LOL - when are Americans going to realise the rest of the world knows a thing or two?

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If you think about it.

What is tragic is that quite a few discoveries were invented by Arabs but yet abruptly stopped. Of course some people will point to the crusaders but the real reason is their culture was hijacked by Islam. Before you make out a death warrant for me. Religion is the reason many great ideas were destroyed or hidden. My case in point, Copernicus by math discovered that the earth revolves around the sun and not vis versa. Had he published it, he would have been burned at the stake. The ancient Mayans were brilliant in astronomy and math but because the worshipped the snake, most of their writings were destroyed by the conqisidors.

Its seems that anyone who says something contrary to what is in the Bible or Koran is put to death and all research is then destroyed.

It seems that the real enemy of man is not his brother but religion.

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